Discovery and Scripps Reportedly in Merger Talks, Again

Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (NASDAQ: SNI) and Discovery Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: DISCA) are watching their shares make a handy gain on Wednesday, after it was reported by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters that the two companies are in talks for a merger. Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA) is also reportedly looking for a piece of the action as well.

Each of the two companies operates a series of cable channels with Discovery owning the likes of Discovery and Animal Planet, while Scripps is the parent of Food Network, Cooking Channel, HGTV, and others.

These companies were in talks about three years ago, but the talks ultimately fell through. Scripps has been considered a buyout target in the past by Viacom to add to its massive network.

If Discovery and Scripps should follow through with these talks, they would make a combined $19 billion cable network that specializes in non-scripted shows.

So far in 2017, Discovery and Scripps have underperformed the broad markets with each stock down 5% and 6%, respectively.

Shares of Scripps were last trading up nearly 14% at $76.31, with a consensus analyst price target of $75.71 and a 52-week range of $59.32 to $83.42.

Shares of Discovery Communications were recently trading up about 4% at $27.02. The stock has a 52-week range of $23.96 to $30.25 and a consensus analyst price target of $28.05.

Shares of Viacom were last seen up over 2% at $40.85, with a consensus analyst price target of $45.00 and a 52-week range of $36.25 to $50.40.

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